Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club title race set to go to the wire with trio in contention

John Perella goes to his peg today knowing he can overhaul current pace-setter Tony Ball in his bid to hold onto the Edinburgh and Lothians Coarse Angling Club's title.

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 7:00 am
John Perella is one point adrift of pace-setter Tony Ball in the Summer Series. Pic: Tommy Lauriston

The defending champion is only one point adrift of his close rival and Roz Cassidy is breathing down both their necks in third place ahead of the final match in this season's popular Summer Series.

The trio are considered the only possible title contenders despite experienced Tommy Lauriston being two points adrift of Roz and Stewart Ritchie, who won the pairs title with Tommy's daughter, Heather Lauriston, recently, only a point further back.

Scots-born Perella, now 67, who won the title in his first year as a club member, learned to fish as a youngster on rivers like The Thames and on still waters near the family home near Oxford.

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Keith Anderson (right) receiving the top prize in the police event held at Lake of Menteith from event organiser James Picken. Pic: Quint Glen

The retired toolmaker, who worked for car giants BMW, admitted that this season had been hard and he and Tony have been averaging only 6lb a match.

He added: "Tony has been the most consistent all season and you can't discount Roz as she has done brilliantly, weighing in a bag of 67lbs in one match. It's great to see a woman in the top three and she is an excellent angler."

Perella normally targets smaller fish and he hooked around 40 in the first 90 minutes of the last match, a tactic which has worked well so far and the three contenders are hoping for favourable weather at Orchill near Auchterarder to encourage the fish to bite as the water has not, sadly, fished as well as it has in previous years.

Pegs which have traditionally produced have failed this term despite being fished by experienced and accomplished anglers.

Competition has been fierce, a fact underlined by results in Match 10 where there was a runaway winner but the second and third were within ounces of each other.

Big carp catches have made a difference on the scales over the season as silver fish (roach) have been difficult to tempt, even in favourable conditions.

Geoffrey Lowe, club chairman, said: "What is really pleasing is that our membership is rising and that one of our lady members, Roz Cassidy, is in the title frame.

"Roz has also been consistent all season, hence her current third position.

"This proves that fishing can be a sport in which women can compete and excel alongside men. After all, coarse fishing is not about strength and lobbing big weights around, it is about delicate presentation."

Onto fly fishing and Edinburgh-based Mike Connet and Jock Kettles, Scotland's international fly fishing captain from Bonnyrigg, have motored south for tomorrow's Scierra Pairs Championship Final.

They will have two days of practice on Rutland Water and Connet said: "We would not be going down there if we did not think we could win."

Their best placing so far in one of Britain's top fly fishing events has been eighth and they made this year's final at the last attempt, finishing third at Glencorse in the first heat there and then missing out on qualification at Harelaw near Glasgow the following weekend before winning the second Glencorse heat.

Connet added: "Jock has some contacts in the British Army who are fishing there this week so we will get information from that and we'll also use what we gain from our two days on the water."

Elsewhere, Glaswegian Brian Mackenzie won the £2,000 first prize in the Scottish Open Fly Fishing Championship.

He netted 16 fish at the Lake of Menteith with Scott McGregor second with 13 and Ken Oliver third on 12. The best placed angler from the East of Scotland was Dave Wright from the Borders who was seventh.

Organiser Ben Robertson from West Lothian said the event will be back next year and he will soon meet with Lake manager Quint (cor) Glen to discuss dates but there will be a practice day next time and other changes could include more food on-site and an improved results service.

The Lake recently hosted the police national championships and the top rod was Keith Anderson fishing with the Lothian section.

He fished the Hotel Bay with a mid glass sink tip and two diawl bach patterns plus a mini lure.

Other good bags were netted along the rope and over the area called the deeps and Kenny Miller of Strathclyde had eight fish on dries.

The 52 rods landed 142 fish.

Sea fishing now and Lindsay Wilson, the manager of Scotland's junior sea fishing team, has found a handful of new possible anglers for his team following the Clyde and West Open at Greenock last Sunday. Several are from the East Coast.

Little Abby (cor) Empson aged five from East Lothian scooped the top prize in the junior section in her first competitive match, the biggest event of its kind in Scotland with more than 100 competitors and won by Kevin Lewis from Dundee with 42 fish.

Abby's proud dad Chris finished third overall in the event behind Lewis and second-placed Brian Maxwell (Saltcoats) and it was fished in calm water with a light breeze.

Alan Brown, secretary of the Bass Rock Shore Angling League who host the second round of their Winter League on Wednesday (September 23), also had a good day, landing two fish, and winning a substantial prize of over £200 for the longest fish - a 62cm dogfish - landed during the event.

The next Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers match is on Sunday, September 26 at Erskine Walkway. It is a two-hook match which will be pegged. It is catch, measure and return and fishing is from noon to 5pm with registration from 10.30am to 11am at the walkway car park below the Morrison's supermarket. There is a 50 peg maximum and a number of Lothians anglers have already entered.

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